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Public Funding of Campaigns

A number of countries and US states provide for public funding of political campaigns. It is possible that these costs could be recovered by less pork being passed to please large contributors.  Also, if combined with reduced TV costs, and limits on how much can be spent, the public funding bill would be less.

Links to sites supporting public funding

Washington Public Campaigns

California Clean Money Campaign

In the US, there is partial public funding for presidential campaigns (but nothing for Senate or House of Representatives campaigns).  Even this has huge loopholes.  Candidates can opt out, as Barack Obama has done in 2008.  Also, independent organizations are free to spend as much as they want on "issues" ads, as long as they don't explicitly endorse a particular candidate. 

Wikipedia describes campaign financing in the US.  Arizona, Maine and Connecticut have state public funding laws.  California voters overwhelmingly turned down a public funding initiative in 2006, Proposition 89.

FEC - Public funding of presidential elections

Presidential Campaign Finance (George Washington University)


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